If your social media activity is confined to Facebook and an occasional tweet, you’re missing out. Twitter is a much more active community, with a younger demographic. If the thought of effectively communicating in a 140-character message seems odd, that’s OK. Follow these 5 tips to use Twitter more effectively.
Learn the basics. If you’re unfamiliar with Twitter, take some time to simply observe how it works. Learn the language. Here’s a quick terminology guide to get you started:
- Tweet: A Twitter post that can contain text, photos, videos and links.
- Reply: A reply is a response to another person’s tweet.
- Retweet: It’s what you do when you share someone else’s tweet.
- Like: Like is self-explanatory, but the tweet author will be aware of your acknowledgement.
- Hashtag: A word or phrase with no spaces that begins with the # symbol. When a user clicks on a hashtag, Twitter searches for matching content. If a hashtag becomes wildly popular, it may become a Twitter Trending Topic.
Visit the Learn Twitter page for more information about the basics.
Make tweets engaging. Relevant and compelling content is what makes a tweet effective. How? Tweets are short by necessity, but the more concise the tweet, the greater the impact. Add a link. Use visuals. Focus on a single message that satisfies a customer’s need. Ask questions. Promote communication. Tweet like a human being, not an automaton.
Use hashtags, but use them wisely. Hashtags have the power to expand your reach and insert yourself and your business into relevant conversations. Is there a way to tie your business into a local event or a national holiday? Focus on the keywords that are appropriate for your business, but don’t use more than two hashtags in a single tweet.
Engage your audience. Ask questions. Respond. Twitter users increasingly head to a company’s Twitter page for help with customer service issues. Don’t make them wait. The world is watching, so communicate, respond to problems immediately and engage your audience. Ask open-ended questions to start discussions. Use Twitter polls to not only engage, but to learn from responses.
Build a community. According to the 2014 Twitter Small Business Customer Insights Study, 70 percent of people who follow small businesses on Twitter retweet content from the business. Not only that, 60 percent of respondents first followed a business on Twitter and then made purchases. And, 73 percent just felt better about a company after following and reading company tweets for awhile. What are the best ways to build a Twitter community?
Start with your existing customer base. If you have an email mailing list, let them know you’re on Twitter and encourage follows. Promote your Twitter username on your website, in your email signature, on your printed marketing material and in your store. Use Twitter’s search function to discover keywords and hashtags that are relevant to your audience. Encourage retweets to expand your audience further.
There’s no set rule on how often you should tweet. The right amount is different for each business. Take your time and try different frequencies. Twitter provides a free analytics tool that will help you analyze current practices and define what type of content resonates. The tweet activity dashboard monitors engagement rates. Over time, you’ll learn what’s most effective for your audience.
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